Friday, September 29, 2006

Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

From Amy Welborn:
Catholic News Service does an article on the various voting guides for Catholics that are out there - from state Catholic conferences, as well as independent groups like Catholic Answers and the fairly new Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Here's an excerpt from the Catholic News Service article:
What's a voter to do? Election guides offer different answers

In the absence of a "Faithful Citizenship" document from the U.S. bishops to guide Catholic voters in this midterm election, groups as diverse as the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Priests for Life, state Catholic conferences and new organizations with names like Red Letter Christians and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good are stepping into the fray.

In its 12-page brochure, "Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics," Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good suggests three principles:

-- "Inform your conscience on church teaching and the candidates' positions.

-- "Apply prudence when deciding how to apply Catholic values to voting.

-- "Vote for the common good by focusing on what's best for everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable."

"We need to understand that our church's social teachings call us to consider a broad range of important issues -- on everything from poverty to war, human rights, abortion and the environment," the guide says. "There is no Catholic voting formula and there is rarely, if ever, a perfect candidate for Catholic voters."

But there are some candidates that Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, would consider clearly imperfect.

In a booklet called "Voting With a Clear Conscience," he urges Catholic voters to "reject the disqualified."

"Suppose a candidate came forward and said, 'I support terrorism.' Would you say, 'I disagree with you on terrorism, but what's your health care plan?' Of course not," the priest of the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, says in the booklet.

"Similarly, those who would permit the destruction of innocent life by abortion disqualify themselves from consideration," Father Pavone added.

Catholic Answers, a San Diego-based Catholic apologetics organization, takes a similar approach in its "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics," presenting five "nonnegotiable issues" on which to judge candidates for public office -- abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and homosexual "marriage."

Here's what the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has to say about the "Voting for the Common Good" voters' guide:
September 29, 2006


A new Catholic activist organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, has issued a voter guide that will be distributed to Catholics between now and election day. Commenting on the 12-page booklet is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“The voter guide is a slick attempt to get the abortion albatross off the necks of Catholic Democrats, but it’s a failed effort—the noose is still there. Instead of listening to James Carville and Paul Begala, who have counseled Democrats to drop their opposition to parental notification laws and their support for keeping partial-birth abortion legal, the best Catholics in Alliance can do is say it is opposed to abortion. But it makes it painfully clear that it will never join any effort to ban any abortions, including partial-birth. Alexia Kelley heads the new group, and in 2004 she worked as a religion advisor to John Kerry in the closing weeks of his campaign. Kerry is an advocate of keeping partial-birth abortion legal.

“On p. 9 of the booklet, it criticizes many pro-life candidates (it puts the term pro-life in quotes, as in so-called pro-life candidates) who are nothing but talk. ‘On the other hand,’ it says, there are pro-abortion politicians who ‘support effective measures to promote healthy families and reduce abortions by providing help to pregnant women and young children.’ There’s the moral equivalency: it’s okay for a Catholic politician to give a green light to a practice that kills a baby who is 80-percent born, just so long as he’s against trans fats.

“On August 2, 2006, Catholics in Alliance issued a news release urging the Senate to raise the minimum wage, an issue which the Catholic Church has no official position on, one way or the other. But the group has no statement urging anyone to vote against partial-birth abortion, an issue which the Catholic Church officially opposes. The best it can do is say it opposes the ‘root causes’ of abortion.

“Despite what Catholics in Alliance says, there is a moral hierarchy of issues, and as important as ending poverty is, it does not rival the right of a child to be born.”


At 9/30/2006 9:14 PM, Blogger BillyHW said...

Just what exactly is the track record of socialism with regard to ending poverty by the way?

At 10/07/2006 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you post a response from Bill Donohue. No serious Catholic takes anything he says anymore seriously. It is obvious he did not read the guide and it is obvious he did not study the facts. There are untruths as usual in his releases. A great majority of clergy is embaressed by this clown. He has no crediblitiy at all.

At 10/14/2006 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics," looks nice. “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics,” makes sense. I just don't know. It is so confusing.

At 11/07/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not really all that confusing. Think about it this way:

1). Abortion kills about 1.3 million human beings in this country alone every year;

2). Embryonic research, if allowed, will offer up another several thousand annually.

Now, think of anything else (disease, war, whatever) that results in the loss of over a million human beings in our country. I can't think of anything.

Unfortunately, the 'Catholic Alliance' guide equates this loss with poverty and war, essentially saying that it's OK for a politician to support abortion and embryonic research as long as he or she is against poverty and war. Poverty and war are terrible things, no doubt about it, and we have to work against them! But honestly, in your own mind, do they really equate to the annual loss of about 1.5 million human beings each year?

Maybe the old Communist saying (Stalin, maybe) is sadly correct: "The loss of one man is a tragedy. The loss of a million men is a statistic."


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